From February 2011

Obama Speaks on African American Unemployment, Need for Jobs

President Barack Obama met with members of the National Policy Alliance (NPA) Feb. 9.

President  Barack Obama met with members of the National Policy Alliance (NPA) February 9 to discuss his vision for America to win the future by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building global competitors while balancing our nation’s budget and reforming our government.
The President and the participants at the meeting agreed that the federal government should adopt policies that will make our budget leaner and smarter while accelerating economic growth and by the recession while protecting the core services that support communities and African American families hardest hit by the current recession.
The President reaffirmed that he did not want to return to the kind of economy Read more

Groundbreaking Celebrations at Lion Creek Crossings Phase IV in East Oakland

From left to right: Jeremy Liu (EBALDC Executive Director), District 7 Councilmember Larry Reid, Janny Castillo (OHA Commissioner), Bill Witte (President of Related California), Gabriel Speyer (Vice President Community Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch), Eric Johnson (OHA Executive Director), Mayor Jean Quan, Moses Mayne (Chair, OHA Board of Commissioners), Lion Creek Crossings residents Aaliyah Carney and Marilyn Lawson, and District 4 BART Director Robert Raburn. Photo by Gene Hazzard.

District 7 Councilmember Larry Reid and Mayor Jean Quan kicked off groundbreaking celebrations at Lion Creek Crossings Phase IV in E. Oakland, next to the Coliseum BART station, on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m. Developers and finance partners, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), Oakland Housing Authority (OHA), Related California, and Bank of America held the event, although construction has already been in full swing for a couple months. Next door, construction workers with Nibbi Brothers were hard at work, and the sounds of hammering could be heard in the background throughout the speaking program.
In addition to speeches from elected officials and execs of OHA, Related CA, EBALDC, and Bank of America, Ms. Marilyn Lawson, a five-year resident of Lion Creek Crossings and community activist, spoke about what inspires her to organize an annual community health fair and reach out to youth.  She was joined on the stage by two local youth leaders, Aaliyah Carney and Jamilla Lawson, who also spoke about civic engagement and contributing to their community.
Larry Reid commended the work of Ms. Lawson and the youth, saying, “[it] motivates you to continue the struggle- the struggle to change one of the areas that those who have any history about East East Oakland of being known as the ‘killing fields’ of this city. Well, that name does not fit this part of Oakland because it is going through some incredible change….I always say that God is good. Read more

The Power of the Media and Coalitions

By Tanya

Last Thursday I came home from work to another “Writ of Possession” posted on my door.  For those readers that missed my previous article, I repossessed my home on January 18th after Wells Fargo had been awarded an unlawful detainer against me and the sheriff had evicted me and my family on December 7th. After a month of watching people trample through my home I went rogue, changed the locks and repossessed my home.
Unfortunately the Superior Court Judge would not consider my new evidence in the form of a forensic loan audit that proved Wells Fargo foreclosed upon me illegally. Unfortunately for citizens in Northern California courts, the courts fear the banks more than they fear the people.
The Sheriff’s writ of possession stated that I must vacate the premises by Thursday, February 24th.  So now, having no other alternative, I called Wells Fargo and requested a modification.  The answer was no.  Fortunately for me I had Read more

Dr. Candace Johnson, Performs Negro Spirituals at Downs

Dr. Cadace Johnson

Dr. Candace Johnson, Soprano, will debut a concert of African American spirituals, hymns and other songs of worship Sunday, February 27, 4pm at the Downs Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 61st and Idaho Streets in North Oakland. The concert will highlight a benefit program for the church’s scholarship fund.
Accompanied by a trio of musicians, Dr. Johnson has made concert appearances at numerous universities and churches throughout the country.
She specializes in research and performance of works by African American composers and traditional African American folk songs, and she is equally known as a singing actress with an extensive repertoire of operatic performances, concerts and recital programs. She studied with Shirley Verrett at the University of Michigan. where she received her Doctorate of Musical Arts in voice performance. She has a fellowship at UC Berkeley where she teaches applied voice and is on the faculty at the Revival Center Ministry’s Training Institute in Vallejo. Aside from holding the title of Ms. Black Tennessee, she’s  an entrepreneur and founded SweetPsalm Music.
Tickets are $20.00 for adults.  For information about the Downs Memorial Church Scholarship Committee, call 510-654-5858. Visit Dr. Johnson’s website at:

Police Credit Faith Community For Helping to Reduce Violence

By Chief Chris Magnus
Richmond Police Department

Left to right: Chief Chris Magnus, Deputy Chief Allwyn Brown, Mrs. Sabrina Saunders, Community Organizer and Captain Mark Gagan. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, BAPAC.

On Saturday, February 19th, I had the privilege of meeting with close to 50 leaders from Richmond’s faith community at the Richmond Police Department.  A diverse group of clergy, faith-based community organizations, community organizers, and civic leaders was assembled to discuss some of the many activities and projects underway to reduce violence in our city.
This meeting was an opportunity for those in attendance to hear about various faith-based endeavors and City government initiatives related to crime and violence reduction.  Violent crime was down 10% last year in Richmond and is down 30% so far this year.   Based on these successes, I felt now was the time to redouble our efforts towards partnering with the faith-based community.
I spoke to the group about the Police Department’s COMPSTAT program, which uses daily crime data to track where and what kind of crime is taking place in the City.  COMPSTAT allows us to focus on specific crime trends and locations that merit extra attention or resources.  To best use COMPSTAT data, the Department assigns a Captain, several other command staff, and a group of officers to each of the City’s three geographic districts (North, Central, and South).  These personnel are responsible for using this data to problem-solve with residents and provide the best possible Read more

Anti-Apartheid Veterans Ask South Africa to Help Aristide Return to Haiti

Danny Glover

Several prominent figures from the International Anti-Apartheid movement have sent South African President Jacob Zuma an open letter “in the hopes that [President Zuma] can assist” former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family in returning to Haiti “as soon as possible.”
Signers include Randall Robinson, the founder of Trans Africa Forum; the Reverend Jesse Jackson; actor and activist Danny Glover ; British MP John McDonnell; activist and comedian Dick Gregory, who was outspoken against the apartheid regime, Jack Healey, founder and director of the Human Rights Action Center, Jack Heyman of the San Francisco International Longshoreman and Warehouse Union ,which refused to unload ships carrying goods from apartheid South Africa in the 1980’s,  Selma James, the widow of famed writer C. L. R. James, author of one of the most influential books on Haiti’s revolution, The Black Jacobins and Walter Riley, Co-Chair John George Democratic Club , Haiti Emergency Relief Fund. Read more

First Ladies Help Build Families, Membership and Pastoral Support

By Antoinette Porter

From left to right: First Lady Dr. Rosa James, First Lady Diane Redic and First Lady Gloria Ashley. Photos by Joe L. Fisher and Adam L. Turner.

Last Week the Post began a series honoring the First ladies of more than 1,000 African American houses of worship around the Bay Area.
Meeting with First Lady Gloria Ashley and Pastor Larry Ashley was a rewarding experience.  I found First Lady Ashley was recovering from foot surgery and stated “this too shall pass.  I am looking forward to getting busy again and if you Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” She also stated “it’s an honor to be recognized by the Post Newspaper, God does all things well”.   March 25th Pastor Larry Ashley will celebrate 21 years of service to the Cosmopolitan Baptist Church family.  Pastor Ashley just returned from a 12 days trip in Israel with 17 other pastors from the western part of the United States.  He stated “it was quite rewarding and best time he had”
First Lady Dr. Rosa James of Beth Eden Baptist Church said she thinks the series on First Ladies will be helpful. “I think the paper’s focus on First Ladies is very creative, it shows respect and regard for the church and community.  Read more

Judge Hatchett Keynotes Women’s Leadership Awards Luncheon

By Jessie Brooks

Judge Glenda Hatchett

Judge Glenda Hatchett will give the keynote speech at  the 13th Annual Madam C. J. Walker Business and Community Recognition Awards luncheon March 4 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in San Francisco.
Madam C. J. Walker was the first African-American female self-made millionaire and business leader.  Judge Hatchett’s television court show is noted for its creative sentencing practices and its intervention and mentoring strategies in which those who are guilty “do time” with community leaders and others, rather than in jail.
The Oakland-Bay Area Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW) is the luncheon host. The luncheon raises funds to support NCBW’s programs such as, “Positive Steps Mentoring Program”, a program targeting teenage girls.  And their highly visible and effective campaign, “Sistahs getting real about HIV/AIDS”, begins its 11th year. AIDS is the No. 1 cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 44. Read more

Movement Around the League

Oakland, CA – The trade deadline has passed yet the chatter still continues as what NBA teams have improved and the players who were smart enough to ask for a “buyout”.  It’s been a long time since the NBA has met a trade deadline in February that has shook up an entire league.  It all began this Summer when LeBron James decided to team-up with friends Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

James decision led to a frenzy for many to assume that a pay cut will bring South Beach another championship.  However, the reigning champ Kobe Bryant still has about 3 to 5 years left to prove he is the best the NBA has seen since Michael Jordan.  With 5 NBA championships and back-to-back wins Bryant knows every player wants what he has and more. Read more

Movement Around the League

Oakland, CA – The trade deadline has passed yet the chatter still continues as what NBA teams have improved and the players who were smart enough to ask for a “buyout”.  It’s been a long time since the NBA has met a trade deadline in February that has shook up an entire league.  It all began this Summer when LeBron James decided to team-up with friends Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

James decision led to a frenzy for many to assume that a pay cut will bring South Beach another championship.  However, the reigning champ Kobe Bryant still has about 3 to 5 years left to prove he is the best the NBA has seen since Michael Jordan.  With 5 NBA championships and back-to-back wins Bryant knows every player wants what he has and more. Read more

Black History Month Celebrated In Space

Dr. Ronald McNair

Black History Month will be celebrated at the Chabot Space and Science Center by honoring the contributions of African Americans in the fields of science and space. On Saturday, February 19, at 1pm or 3pm, visitors can fly a simulated mission to space that with a special tribute to African American astronauts.
Chabot is home to the Challenger Learning Center, a classroom replica of NASA’s Mission Control with an adjoining spacecraft. It’s the legacy of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy.
Among the crew aboard that mission was the second African American in space, Dr. Ronald McNair. McNair was valedictorian of his high school class, and earned a B.S. degree from North Carolina A&T State University. He received a PhD from MIT, before entering the astronaut program at NASA.
Dr. McNair is an inspiration to all who value education, science discovery, and exploration. While in the Challenger Learning Center, like NASA missions, visitors are guided by an experienced flight director. To reserve space, call (510) 336-7373. Read more

Cures High for Early Detected Ovarian Cancer

By Catherine
Jones, M.D.

A common cancer among women is ovarian cancer.  Approximately 21,880 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2010 and approximately 13,500 died of ovarian cancer in 2010.
The ovaries are two small organs located in the pelvis on either side of the uterus.  The ovaries are responsible for the production of eggs for fertilization and hormones.  Ovarian cancer occurs    when the cells of the ovary grow out of control and produce one or multiple abnormal growths  called tumors.
Women with early ovarian cancer may have stomach or pelvic discomfort, an irregular period, an urge to urinate frequently, bloating of the stomach and constipation.  As the disease worsens there may also be shortness of    breath, vomiting, and a sensation of fullness, poor appetite and weight loss.
Women from families with a history  of breast and/or ovarian cancer should consider genetic testing to determine whether or not they carry a genetic mutation that makes them susceptible to developing these cancers.
Behaviors that make one at risk for ovarian cancer include a diet high in animal fat, never having a baby, first birth after 35, and late start of menopause and early start of menstrual period. Read more

Keith Carson Hosts “Family Journeys” Black History Event

Keith Carson

The Great Migration of African Americans to the Bay Area is a vital aspect of our collective history, yet many youth are not familiar with the story of their ancestors.  Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson is organizing a unique Black History Month event on Saturday, February 19 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Black Repertory Theatre in Berkeley to bring a glimpse of those stories to youth and adults alike.
Family Journeys: The Migration of African Americans to the Bay Area and Intergenerational Dialogue will feature an informative panel discussion where audience members will learn about the Great Migration and the contributions of African Americans to the Bay Area.  They will hear the stories of the men and women who arrived to work in the shipyards and stayed to raise families, worship and create a flourishing and diverse community and Bay Area history.
Community luminaries in the fields of Black studies, history and faith will paint a vivid picture of the complex history of African American contributions to the Bay Area economy, culture and political landscape.  The invited panelists include Professor Oba T’Shaka, Former Chair of the Africana Studies Department at San Francisco State University; Pastor Martha Taylor, Elmhurst Presbyterian Church; and Betty Reid Soskin, Outreach Specialist at Rosie the Riveter WWII/Home Front National Historical Park.  The panel will be moderated by Davey D of Hard Knock Radio. Read more

Cynthia Slater, Community Builder

By David Drabkin

Oakland resident Cynthia Slater (far left) is a Human Resources director at UC Berkeley. On weekends, she transforms the lives of five and six year old children at the Willie Keyes Recreation Center in West Oakland.

On weekdays, Oakland resident Cynthia Slater is a Human Resources director at UC Berkeley.  On weekends, she transforms the lives of five and six year old children at the Willie Keyes Recreation Center, 3131 Union Street in West Oakland.
Since 2008, together with other volunteers from the Oakland Baha’i community, Cynthia spends her Saturdays promoting “spiritual empowerment” through art and music projects.  In addition to providing healthy snacks for children in need, the volunteers teach 10-20 children such basic values as kindness, generosity, community, and love through cooperative, non-competitive games.
Forming bonds and ties of friendship and love between kids and their families has helped her understand the underlying issues in community and community building. Most of all, Cynthia is passionate about her volunteering because she is unlocking hidden potential — she is helping youth “understand that they have innate abilities within themselves to achieve.”
On Saturday, February 26, readers are invited to attend an “Appreciation and Encouragement Brunch,” at the Willie Keyes Recreation Center from 11 a -2 pm. Read more

Black Mormon Pioneers

Jane Manning

Elijah Abel

On Sat., Feb. 26 at 7:00 p.m., the Genesis Group of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will present “A Special Destiny”, the powerful, compelling and little-known stories of the devotion and sacrifice of early Church pioneers who were African-Americans.
The play will  feature the biographies of some of the more notable of these pioneers including Jane Manning James, Elijah Abel, Green Flake and others, freed persons and slaves, who joined the Church prior to and  walked, pushed hand cards and drove wagons as part of the Church’s  westward  trek from Illinois to  establish a new home in Utah in the mid-1850s. The play will also feature Negro spirituals such as “Deep River”,  “Every Time I Feel De’  Spirit.”, “Give Me Jesus” and others. Read more

Woman Traces Family History Back to Civil War Era

By Ryan Berlin

Tracing your family roots can be a long, expensive, tedious, and frustrating road.
Grace Rollins, 45, of Mt. Pleasant , Michigan , is right in the middle of traveling that road.
Rollins has been able to trace back five generations on both her mother’s side and father’s side of the family. Going beyond that becomes a lot more difficult, because of the type of record keeping in that era and the fact there was slavery in the United States in that time period.
It is hard to get past the 1870 wall.
“Before that, records weren’t necessarily kept. Where we would usually be found is deed documents, as far as property,” she said.
When it comes to record keeping from the 1800s, a big change occurred after the Civil War when the census started recognizing African Americans by name and ethnicity, Rollins said.
Much of her time is spent trying to find first source documentation, birth certificates, Social Security cards, and marriage certificates. None of her searching has come easy. Read more

Maya Angelou’s Firmly Rooted and Can’t Be Pushed Over

Excerpts from “A Wealth of Wisdom” Legendary African American Elders Speak

By Godfrey Lee

Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou, who was awarded the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Barack Obama, is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.
Born on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Angelou was raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. In Stamps, Dr. Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture. And in her films and books, she expresses herself and  identity as a Black woman.
Dr. Angelou has written numerous best-selling books, from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings to A Song Flung Up to Heaven. She has also performed in such internationally acclaimed works as Porgy and Bess and Roots. Her debut as a film director was in 1998 with film Down in the Delta.
Dr. Angelou has won 71 awards and received 39 honorary degrees. Read more

Southern Marin Pop Warner Cheerleaders Win 1st and 2nd Place at the National Cheer Competition in Las Vegas

By Aleshia Page

After cheering through the entire football season, Central Marin Chargers cheerleaders finally got a chance to show off their talent.
After months of practice and various competitions under their belts,  we got a chance to compete at the Jamz National cheer competition in Las Vegas on Jan 27-Jan 31.
The Jr Pee Wee team, in which Marin City residence, Bianca Wallace competed on Saturday Jan. 29th against 8 other teams and won 2nd Place.
The Jr. Midget Team, in which  Marin city residents, Destiny Buckhanan, Gwen Page, Pammy Schott and Tammy Schott competed on Sunday, Jan. 30  against 9 other teams and was annouced 1st Place National Champions.

Caption: From left to right: Top – Gwen Page, Julia Bora, Katrina Murray, Joey Reece, Pammy Schott and Daniella Colonia; Bottom – Channon Miles, Tammy Schott, Gabrielle Ficker, Alba Alvarado, Destiny Buckhanan, Andrea Leon and Erika Suzki.

Marin Woman’s Hall of Fame Will Induct Six Stellar Women

Marin Women’s Hall of Fame (MWHF) will honor, induct and celebrate six outstanding women leaders at their 23rd Annual Gala Dinner and Ceremony, at Embassy Suites, San Rafael, on March 19, 2011.  The honorees include the following outstanding women: Julie Abrams, Linda Davis, Barbara Lee, Denise M. Lucy, Dolores “Dolly” Nave and Maureen Sedonaen.
Julie Abrams is the CEO of Women’s Initiative for Self Employment, a nonprofit that supports low-income women so they can start their own business and become economically self-sufficient. She will receive an award in the Business and Professional Category.
Linda Davis is the CEO of the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership. Davis will be honored in the Volunteer Leadership Category for her work in strengthening nonprofit organizations, and promoting the nonprofit sector. Read more

Hunters Point’s Desmond Bishop’s a Super Bowl Champ

By Lee Hubbard

From left to right: Reverend Calvin Jones, Curly Bishop, Desmond Bishop and Dennis Bishop.

Desmond Bishop is back with a super bowl crown. He’s in his glory too. Like South Africa’s famed Bishop Desmond Tutu, they both were tooted and saluted by their governments. They  received kudos from their hometowns when they returned from world conquering feats.
Desmond Bishop was born and raised in San Francisco in Bay View Hunters Point. He left the bay area in 2007, to work in Wisconsin but he came back to San Francisco City Hall this week as a Super Bowl Champion.
Bishop, a starting linebacker for the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers, was given a city proclamation by District 10 supervisor Malia Cohen and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee pronounced February 15, “Desmond Bishop day.”
“Desmond Bishop is a product of the Southeast part of San Francisco and he represents all of the good things that come from the area,” said Supervisor Cohen, “I am proud to honor Desmond Bishop during Black History month and I want to honor his achievement.”
Desmond Bishop is the son of Sherri and Dennis Bishop. Dennis played football at Illinois and professionally in the United States Football League. Desmond’s grandfather and family patriarch Curly Bishop Sr. was a well known business owner, who owned Bishop’s Market for over three decades on Revere and Keith Streets in Bay View Hunters Point. Read more

Black History Makers

Mary Frances Everhart, 92,
and LaVerne Wattell, 95

By Barbara Fluhrer

Mary Frances Everhart (left) and LaVerne Wattell are shown here attending a Four Season’s

Mary Frances Everhart and LaVerne Wattell regularly attend the  Four Season’s  Arts concert in Oakland.    Both reside in San Francisco and enjoy the door to door transportation to and from the concerts. “We depend on transportation these days,” they said.
Mary Frances Everhart (92) worked for the Oakland Public Schools for 32 years as a teacher, counselor, and curriculum school administrator and teacher trainer.  She worked part time at San Francisco City College for 17 years and supports the Lincoln University Alumni.  She founded the S.F. Chapter, now in its’ 38th year. Everhart is a Delta Sigma Theta and a member of Bethel AME in San Francisco.
When asked what she does with her time, Everhart answered, “As little as possible.  It’s not easy; took me 2 hours to get dressed tonight. Every day is a struggle.  I try to stay upbeat and know that nothing lasts forever.”
When asked what she would tell young people today she said, “Education is the key to everything.”
LaVerne Wattell is grateful to be 95.  In Marshall, Texas she attended Wiley College and learned how to sew and do hair.  She worked for 3 years at Joseph Magnin’s in S.F. and was invited to events at City of Hope, where she eventually became a volunteer for 40 years. Read more

Proclamation Honors Fred Davis Jackson

Exemplary service to the Richmond community

Fred Jackson march with Mayor McLaughlin during 2010 Juneteenth Parade. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, BAPAC.

Fred Jackson , seated in a wheelchair, was honored by the Richmond City council for the many years that he stood up for the neighborhoods and the people who were afraid to stand.
“Whatever I am, whatever I hope to be, I owe it to my family,” said the 73 year-old North Richmond organizer and community leader.
Though he is fighting his case of liver cancer , he let the council know that with  his weakened voice he would continue to fight when he drew laughs when he said, “If I see someone who is hungry, and I elect to pray for them first rather than feed them, you bite me, you hounds of conscience. Now, I’ve been bitten many times.” Read more

Mark’s Barbershop – A ‘Cut’ From Success

By Tasion

Mark Robinson, photo by Joe L. Fisher, BAPAC.

Barbershops are staple businesses, and in some places they’re institutions in the African American communities.
Mark Robinson and his wife Noel, owners of Mark’s Barbershop, are continuing that legacy.  Not only do they provide a place to obtain a fresh cut, but also, their shop offers youth some hands-on experience, affording them an opportunity to ‘cut’ their own successful path in life.
Robinson, a native of Richmond, was taught early on the responsibility of working hard, building a legacy, and passing on life lessons. In the 9th grade, while attending Kennedy High School, Robinson completed two essays discussing career interests. One career choice was the United States Post Office, where his father was employed for 45 years; the other discussed the career of a barber.  After completing research, Robinson set a goal to become an owner of a barbershop. Read more

Girls Inc. Recruiting 9th Graders

Mieasha L. Harris

Something is brewing at the Girls Incorporated of West Contra Costa County’s (Girls Inc., WCCC) site in Richmond – and it smells good! They’re  inviting girls to come by and sample their programs of inspiration, encouragement, social growth and a heaping dose of fun.
They are seeking ninth grade girls to participate in their College Bound Girls (CBG) program.
Mieasha  L. Harris,  Interim Executive Director of Girls Inc., WCC said they are “embarking upon a valiant initiative to inspire the girls of Richmond to be strong, smart, and bold.”
The objectives of the program are to educate and mentor Richmond’s girls and prepare them to become eligible.   They have designed an intensive program which includes: Personal Development, Leadership and Community Action, Dressing for Success, Presentation Skills, College Application Process, Careers and Life Planning and Self-Reliance and Life Skills.
The  kick-off celebration for this activity will be held on Saturday, February 26,  from 10am -12pm at 260 Broadway. Read more